Navy Secretary Ray Mabus officially announced on Friday that the fleet’s 17th littoral combat ship will be named Indianapolis.
Mabus shared his intent to name the Freedom-class variant of the littoral combat ship after the World War II cruiser during a survivors’ reunion earlier this month, but the official announcement came in a Defense Department news release on Friday.
“I chose to name this ship Indianapolis because of the legacy this name holds,” Mabus said in the release. “When people hear Indianapolis, they will be reminded of the incredible bravery and sense of duty with which our men and women in uniform serve.”
The cruiser Indianapolis sank just after midnight July 30, 1945, after being struck by two Japanese torpedoes. While about 900 men of a crew of roughly 1,200 made it into the water alive, they were not rescued for days. After shark attacks and the elements, fewer than 320 men survived, according to the survivors’ group. Fifteen of the nearly 40 men still alive attended a reunion Aug. 1 in Indianapolis.
Harold Bray, chairman of the group, said he hopes the veterans can share their story and build relationships with the crew of LCS 17.
“I’m sure once it gets going and we get to meet those guys, they’ll be just like one of us. We’ll invite them to our reunions,” Bray said.